On April 29, the earliest date allowed by regulations, OSSTF/FEESO gave notice of our desire to commence bargaining under the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act at the Support Staff and Teacher/Occasional Teacher central tables.
The first order of business is to determine the scope of bargaining at both central tables. Items not included in the scope of central table bargaining will be part of local negotiations. Because this process can be complex and time-consuming, and because the Minister of Education had publicly urged education sector unions to begin bargaining as early as possible, OSSTF/FEESO was hopeful that the government would move quickly to set up several early meetings dates once it received our notice to bargain. To our disappointment, the government did not even acknowledge our notice until a week after we had given it, and initially agreed to only two hours of meetings—one hour for each of the two central tables—on May 13. This was the last day of the 15 day window within which the parties are required to meet after notice to bargain is issued.
OSSTF/FEESO met with the government on May 13, as well as with representatives from the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) and the Council of Trustees’ Associations (CTA). Initial discussions took place about the scope of the central bargaining tables and about ground rules for negotiations. Additional meetings were also scheduled in May and early June for the continuation of discussions.
To keep up to date with the most current news about bargaining, please frequently log into the myOSSTF section of the Federation website and select the Bargaining Bulletin tab.